Date: Sunday, Sept. 7
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Stadium: M&T Bank Stadium
TV Schedule: 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS
Online Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket and Sunday Ticket Mobile
Radio: NFL Audio Pass
Weather: 80 high, 63 low
Betting Odds: Point Spread: Ravens -2
Spread: Ravens -135, Bengals +115
In Hue Jackson's debut as offensive coordinator for the Bengals and Paul Guenther's debut on the other side of the ball, Cincinnati fans are hoping for a successful showing to start off the season against division-rival Baltimore.
And it's not to say it won't be successful. I just feel a little hard-pressed to pencil them down in the win column.
First and foremost, Cincinnati doesn't play well in Baltimore.
Dalton's performance has been lackluster on the annual trip to Maryland, and for some reason, John Harbaugh seems to have the Bengals' defense's number.
It's an important game, and fans of both sides should expect it to be a very close game. Talent-wise, the Bengals have the advantage. The statistics on paper might even favor them for seven-plus points. It's the intangibles I'm worried about.
Over the course of the 2013 regular season, Cincinnati played very well at home. In fact, they won every game, earning an 8-0 mark in that category. However, they also went 3-5 on the road, losing road games to Baltimore and Cleveland along the way.
It's a situation where big-time games seem to haunt them, and for both teams, this is a very important game. It will likely be Dalton's game to lose, but we've seen that result take place far too many times in the last few years.
While I don't like to play the pessimist, I do have to be a realist, even if it means playing a bit of devil's advocate. In a pressure situation, I'm putting more trust in Flacco. My general rule of thumb with the AFC North in 2014 is that the Steelers, Ravens, and Bengals split their home and away games.
Because it's in Baltimore, the Bengals get the short-end of the stick from me. Ravens win, 24-20.